lunchtimes in the primary school
Lunchtime Learning Sessions in the Primary School
With the different smells, noise, and skills that are required to tolerate and participate at this time, we recognise that lunchtime can be a challenging time for our children. Therefore, we have developed a number of learning objectives for our children as they move through Primary.
Early Years and Key Stage 1 children eat their lunch in their own classrooms. This gives the children the opportunity to focus without distractions upon:
- Learn to tolerate the smells of different foods
- Learn to communicate wants and needs during this time
- Having food placed near/ in front of them in a quieter, familiar environment.
- Work with familiar adults to tolerate touching, licking, biting, and eating different foods.
- Learning the fine motor skills of using cutlery
- Learning to sit together for a meal in a quieter environment
- Learning to tidy up
- Learning to collect items needed for lunch e.g. water bottles
Key Stage 2 children are introduced to the lunch hall. They need to learn to:
- Attend one of two sittings of three classes.
- Learn to deploy the skills that they have learnt in their Key Stage 1 classes in a more distracting, busier, noisier and more multi-sensory setting
- Learn to be sat together as a class
- Learn the independent skills/ expectations of a dining hall
- queueing to get your dinner,
- where to collect cutlery
- where to get a drink from
- tidy up when lunch is finished
In both Key Stages children will move through these stages of learning at different rates and there will be flexibility in terms of the expectation that we create to challenge them. This might be in terms of the amount of adult support that they have or the use of a different place to sit, or indeed allowing more independence to the most able students in terms of flexible friendship based seating that changes daily.
We are currently running two lunchtime clubs; ‘Chatter Bugs’ and 'Creative Arts', to allow some children to continue to build friendships across the school.